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“I have depression.”

“I have depression.”

Katharine Welby blogs about depression, naming her depression “a hopeful depression.” An excerpt:

I have been pondering the dull nature of my thought life and wondering why, and I have come to this conclusion. I am avoiding the world inside my head.

I have depression. I get it quite badly on a regular basis and kind of cry and get tired and just generally see no hope in the world. Problem is, recently I have had hope. I am very low, very sad and yet at the same time very happy. It seems like the chemicals in my brain are at war with my circumstances ‘I am happy’ ‘No you are not’ ‘no really I am’ ‘no really you are not’. This is the current sound track to my life.

Amongst all the dull thoughts I have been thinking, I have been pondering the happy/depressed state of my mind and wondering at it. What does it mean to find hope within an illness that is doing everything possible to rob you of it?

I have a hopeful depression. I am unafraid of my illness, I know that at times it will be unbearable, but I know in it all I am not alone. I look forward to the time when this hope is shared by the church and all those in it suffering quietly and in fear of what their friends would say.

Read it all.


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Ann Fontaine

I think the Epistle of James, ch 2 has something to say about this: 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

Apps 55753818692 1675970731 F785b701a6d1b8c33f0408

“Remember, we’re praying for you,”

And, of course, the dismissive, oversimplification of “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

If I needed Pollyanna I would have rented a Disney movie.

Cullin R. Schooley

Jeffrey Neal

I work in behavior health and substance use disorder services, and the social stigma around mental illness constantly saddens me. There is no such stigma around physical illness – people who deal with and suffer from influenza, pneumonia, heart disease, diabetes, etc. are free to talk about their illness and have no social fear in seeking help. When will we realize that mental illness is no different? Yet people point and snicker, using hateful phrases like “crazy”, “off their rocker”, “not right in the head”, etc. One in four Americans will suffer from some type of mental illness in their lifetime; and so many are treatable and even curable. The church should be a safe place where people can openly talk about their struggle with mental illness; be responded to authentically and sincerely; and be encouraged to seek help.

Eric Bonetti

JC: Thanks for the link. That is terrible.

Although I don’t deal with mental illness, a family member of mine does, and my experience is that the church often deals with the matter even more badly than in the article you cite. The patronizing smiles come out, the standard, “Remember, we’re praying for you,” a few other quick-down-and-dirty throwaways, and bang! Off to the next issue. To my mind, that’s even worse that the whole, “see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya” routine. At least with the latter one is given no false hope of care and compassion.

Eric Bonetti


Related comment by MadPriest (the Rev. Jonathan Hagger), here:

JC Fisher

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